Drax: UK power station owner cuts down primary forests in Canada

petros

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A company that has received billions of pounds in green energy subsidies from UK taxpayers is cutting down environmentally-important forests, a BBC Panorama investigation has found.

Drax runs Britain's biggest power station, which burns millions of tonnes of imported wood pellets - which is classed as renewable energy.
The BBC has discovered some of the wood comes from primary forests in Canada.
The company says it only uses sawdust and waste wood.
Panorama analysed satellite images, traced logging licences and used drone filming to prove its findings. Reporter Joe Crowley also followed a truck from a Drax mill to verify it was picking up whole logs from an area of precious forest.

Ecologist Michelle Connolly told Panorama the company was destroying forests that had taken thousands of years to develop.

"It's really a shame that British taxpayers are funding this destruction with their money. Logging natural forests and converting them into pellets to be burned for electricity, that is absolutely insane," she said.

The Drax power station in Yorkshire is a converted coal plant, which now produces 12% of the UK's renewable electricity.

It has already received £6bn in green energy subsidies. Burning wood is considered green, but it is controversial among environmentalists.
Panorama discovered Drax bought logging licences to cut down two areas of environmentally-important forest in British Columbia.

One of the Drax forests is a square mile, including large areas that have been identified as rare, old-growth forest.
The provincial government of British Columbia says old-growth forests are particularly important and that companies should put off logging them.

Drax's own responsible sourcing policy says it "will avoid damage or disturbance" to primary and old-growth forest.

However, the latest satellite pictures show Drax is now cutting down the forest.

Drax later admitted that it did use logs from the forest to make wood pellets. The company said they were species the timber industry did not want, and they would often be burned anyway to reduce wildfire risks.

The company also said the sites identified by Panorama were not primary forest because they were near roads.

But the UN definitions of primary forest do not mention proximity to roads and one of the sites is six miles from the nearest paved road.
Panorama's findings come at a critical moment for Drax.

The UK government is due to publish a new biomass strategy later this year, which will set out its policy for natural fuels like wood.
A Drax spokesperson said 80% of material in its Canadian pellets is sawmill residuals, which would be disposed of anyway.

They also said that Drax applies stringent sustainability standards to its own pellet production as well as suppliers, with verification from third-party certification schemes.

"We are constantly reviewing these policies to ensure we take account of the latest science," they added.

Panorama's The Green Energy Scandal Exposed is on BBC One at 20:00 on Monday 3rd October and on iPlayer afterwards
 

Ron in Regina

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Meh, like much of the green energy industry…..biomass of wood pellets for electricity production is both good and bad depending on who’s arguing.

The argument for the above biomass can be applied both ways to everything almost. There’s good & bad to Windmills, solar panels, nuclear power, coal, natural gas, hydro electric dams, etc….all of the above are good or bad depending on how they’re spun and what the agenda happens to be.

They’re good & green:

They’re not good & green:

I can post links showing that wood pellets for electrical generation are both sustainable and not sustainable, that they’re both cleaner burning and dirtier burning than coal, etc….the green energy industry is like the organic farming industry or the curb side shell game in that much of it is just slight of hand and whatever whichever gov’t decides to label as good or bad depending on their policies and agendas.

Natural Gas is good in that it’s much better than coal…but it’s bad in that it’s still a fossil fuel being burned at high efficiency.

Solar panels are good in that they only use photosynthesis produce electricity…but it’s bad because The solar panels have to be produced in the first place, and shipped, and they have a relatively short lifespan, and then they end up in landfills and more have to be manufactured to replace the ones that have been thrown away.

Windmills are great in that they only use the wind to generate electricity…but they’re huge and detrimental to wildlife and they have a relatively short lifespan and they don’t work when the wind is blowing too little or too much, and at the end of their lifespan they have to be thrown away because they can’t be recycled worth a shit, and then more have to be manufactured to replace the ones that are thrown away, etc…& I can go on for just about every source of energy both good and bad.

Drax In the opening post is ahead of the game in the paper chase currently and has the backing of their government, so they’re “Green” and sustainable energy….until they aren’t.
 
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Ron in Regina

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Here’s a weird question. Electric cars are a thing that exist…. but how much electricity does an electric car generate?

Solar panels and great big windmills are supposed to be the answer to our future energy needs…. but who here can name ONE manufacturing plant that makes solar panels and windmills…. that ONLY uses the electricity from solar panels and windmills that already exist to make more solar panels and windmills???

On a cold Prairie night, when it’s -40°C or -40°F….and the air is crisp and still…Solar & Wind generation are irrelevant, and batteries are unhappy at best….what do you rely upon to charge your electric car or heat your home with a consistent reliable base load? Whatever that answer is, is part of the answer going forward.
 
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petros

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but who here can name ONE manufacturing plant that makes solar panels and windmills

Algonquin and Siemens comes to mind for whirlygigs but solar panels? Only Coleman camping products comes to mind.
 

Ron in Regina

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Algonquin and Siemens comes to mind for whirlygigs but solar panels? Only Coleman camping products comes to mind.
…. that ONLY uses the electricity from solar panels and windmills that already exist to make more solar panels and windmills??? If Wind & Solar are the answer, then there must be a manufacturing plant that makes Solar Panels (for example) that only derives its power for manufacturing from Solar Panels. Same for Wind turbines….but does this exist & if not, why not?
 

spaminator

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A company that has received billions of pounds in green energy subsidies from UK taxpayers is cutting down environmentally-important forests, a BBC Panorama investigation has found.

Drax runs Britain's biggest power station, which burns millions of tonnes of imported wood pellets - which is classed as renewable energy.
The BBC has discovered some of the wood comes from primary forests in Canada.
The company says it only uses sawdust and waste wood.
Panorama analysed satellite images, traced logging licences and used drone filming to prove its findings. Reporter Joe Crowley also followed a truck from a Drax mill to verify it was picking up whole logs from an area of precious forest.

Ecologist Michelle Connolly told Panorama the company was destroying forests that had taken thousands of years to develop.

"It's really a shame that British taxpayers are funding this destruction with their money. Logging natural forests and converting them into pellets to be burned for electricity, that is absolutely insane," she said.

The Drax power station in Yorkshire is a converted coal plant, which now produces 12% of the UK's renewable electricity.

It has already received £6bn in green energy subsidies. Burning wood is considered green, but it is controversial among environmentalists.
Panorama discovered Drax bought logging licences to cut down two areas of environmentally-important forest in British Columbia.

One of the Drax forests is a square mile, including large areas that have been identified as rare, old-growth forest.
The provincial government of British Columbia says old-growth forests are particularly important and that companies should put off logging them.

Drax's own responsible sourcing policy says it "will avoid damage or disturbance" to primary and old-growth forest.

However, the latest satellite pictures show Drax is now cutting down the forest.

Drax later admitted that it did use logs from the forest to make wood pellets. The company said they were species the timber industry did not want, and they would often be burned anyway to reduce wildfire risks.

The company also said the sites identified by Panorama were not primary forest because they were near roads.

But the UN definitions of primary forest do not mention proximity to roads and one of the sites is six miles from the nearest paved road.
Panorama's findings come at a critical moment for Drax.

The UK government is due to publish a new biomass strategy later this year, which will set out its policy for natural fuels like wood.
A Drax spokesperson said 80% of material in its Canadian pellets is sawmill residuals, which would be disposed of anyway.

They also said that Drax applies stringent sustainability standards to its own pellet production as well as suppliers, with verification from third-party certification schemes.

"We are constantly reviewing these policies to ensure we take account of the latest science," they added.

Panorama's The Green Energy Scandal Exposed is on BBC One at 20:00 on Monday 3rd October and on iPlayer afterwards
they committed an act of treeson. ;)
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Here’s a weird question. Electric cars are a thing that exist…. but how much electricity does an electric car generate?

Solar panels and great big windmills are supposed to be the answer to our future energy needs…. but who here can name ONE manufacturing plant that makes solar panels and windmills…. that ONLY uses the electricity from solar panels and windmills that already exist to make more solar panels and windmills???

On a cold Prairie night, when it’s -40°C or -40°F….and the air is crisp and still…Solar & Wind generation are irrelevant, and batteries are unhappy at best….what do you rely upon to charge your electric car or heat your home with a consistent reliable base load? Whatever that answer is, is part of the answer going forward.
Building technology requires the use of predecessor technology. The engines for the first Me-262s were delivered by oxcart.

Good point about the prairie. If only there were some way to move electricity from place to place!
 

Ron in Regina

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Building technology requires the use of predecessor technology. The engines for the first Me-262s were delivered by oxcart.

Good point about the prairie. If only there were some way to move electricity from place to place!
Like a pipeline (?) but for electricity? Like power lines?

Solar panels and windmills have been around for a while now…. so I’m assuming we should be past the point of delivering them with Oxcarts.

How many solar panel factories are now powered solely by the Sun?

How many windmill factories are now powered solely by wind?
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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Wow. Power lines. What a trip! You mean you don't need an oil-or-coal fueled generator attached to every electrical device?

You don't seem to understand how this works. Solar and wind energy is pumped into the grid. The solar panel factories run off the grid. It's like asking if any of your house's lights runs exclusively off solar power, wind power, nuclear power, hydro power, or fossil power.
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
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You seem to not know how this works.

Solar goes as far as a circuit of a subgrid which is nowhere near "the grid". Thats it. Local neighbourhood "craft power".
 

Ron in Regina

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Wow. Power lines. What a trip! You mean you don't need an oil-or-coal fueled generator attached to every electrical device?

You don't seem to understand how this works. Solar and wind energy is pumped into the grid. The solar panel factories run off the grid. It's like asking if any of your house's lights runs exclusively off solar power, wind power, nuclear power, hydro power, or fossil power.
Solar works when the sun shines, and wind turbines work when the wind blows enough (but not too much)…. and that’s when they contribute to “the grid”…. but not on a Still cold Saskatchewan night….

Are you saying that we should have powerlines that transfer electricity to Saskatchewan in the middle of the night from somewhere where the sun is still shining (Will have to dig out my global time zone map) in North America (?) or from overseas???
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Solar works when the sun shines, and wind turbines work when the wind blows enough (but not too much)…. and that’s when they contribute to “the grid”…. but not on a Still cold Saskatchewan night….

Are you saying that we should have powerlines that transfer electricity to Saskatchewan in the middle of the night from somewhere where the sun is still shining (Will have to dig out my global time zone map) in North America (?) or from overseas???
No, I'm suggesting that the grid be fed by fossil, wind, solar, hydro, nuclear (and later fusion, tidal, solar-power satellites, and whatever comes next),

Are you saying that we've reached the end of the line on electricity generation, storage, and transmission, and no further developments are possible?

Hitch up that oxcart!
 

Jinentonix

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Solar works when the sun shines, and wind turbines work when the wind blows enough (but not too much)…. and that’s when they contribute to “the grid”…. but not on a Still cold Saskatchewan night….

Are you saying that we should have powerlines that transfer electricity to Saskatchewan in the middle of the night from somewhere where the sun is still shining (Will have to dig out my global time zone map) in North America (?) or from overseas???
But, but, they got battery back ups now, as long as they don't self-combust, which they have a history of doing.

batteries at power plant catch fire - Bing images
 
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Ron in Regina

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No, I'm suggesting that the grid be fed by fossil, wind, solar, hydro, nuclear (and later fusion, tidal, solar-power satellites, and whatever comes next),

Are you saying that we've reached the end of the line on electricity generation, storage, and transmission, and no further developments are possible?

Hitch up that oxcart!
You’re taking things to extremes, and yes my position is ALSO that we need a mix of sources…. with something consistent and reliable to cover the baseload like nuclear &/fossil fuels, etc…. as opposed to unicorn farts and fairy dust (are those carbon neutral?) like what’s being pushed without current existing technologies. I’m still waiting for my Jetsons flying car and such…

I’m not saying we’ve reached the end of the line on electrical generation, but I am saying there are unrealistic deadlines set forth by our current government without the replacement technology existing, and I would hate to be relying on batteries to power my province through a two or three week cold snap of -30°C which happens…overcast for days, for 1,000,000+ people Justin this province alone.
 
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Jinentonix

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Ya mean. . . battery backup is unsafe?

Oh dear. We'd better rely exclusively on clean, safe, patriotic oil, coal, and natural gas!
Yeah, I guess spontaneous combustion is just something we should have to live with.
Speaking of "clean" Lake Baotou is a 120km2 body of toxic sludge resulting in the lust for tech, and now so-called green tech.

In fact, "green" protestors are starting to protest lithium mining and have managed to cancel three projects so far.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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You’re taking things to extremes, and yes my position is ALSO that we need a mix of sources…. with something consistent and reliable to cover the baseload like nuclear &/fossil fuels, etc…. as opposed to unicorn farts and fairy dust (are those carbon neutral?) like what’s being pushed without current existing technologies. I’m still waiting for my Jetsons flying car and such…

i’m not saying we’ve reached the end of the line on electrical generation, but I am saying there are unrealistic deadlines set forth by our current government without the replacement technology existing, and I would hate to be relying on batteries to power my province through a two or three week cold snap of -30°C which happens…overcast for days, for 1,000,000+ people Justin this province alone.
I ain't the one whimpering that we'll have NO POWER at night on the Plains. I've been saying as long as this sporadic conversation's been going on that fossil will be part of the mix (a decreasing part) for years or decades to come.

As far as your idiot government goes, I don't rightly see how you can pin that on me.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Yeah, I guess spontaneous combustion is just something we should have to live with.
Speaking of "clean" Lake Baotou is a 120km2 body of toxic sludge resulting in the lust for tech, and now so-called green tech.

In fact, "green" protestors are starting to protest lithium mining and have managed to cancel three projects so far.
You live with it now, dipshit. Refinery fires? Oil-well fires? Building fires caused by natural gas leaks? Oil spills?

Any of this ringing a bell?

I suggest you personally get off the grid and go with wood-burning stoves and whale-oil lamps. They NEVER cause fires!